CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has banned harvesting, transportation, trading and exporting of the mukula tree species until further notice.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata said this at a press briefing yesterday.
She said harvesting and trading of the mukula for local use has also been prohibited to ensure the species is protected for future generations.
“I am in the process of coming up with measures that will ensure that the mukula tree species is protected for our future generation, so it should be noted that concession, licences allowing the harvesting and trading of the mukula even locally, have been banned,” she said.
Ms Kapata said it has been observed that the main interest for concession licence applications for Central, Eastern, Lusaka, Luapula, Muchinga and Northern provinces is to harvest mukula species, and not any other types of timber.
“However, it should be emphasised that the current Government policy is to prohibit the harvest and trade, including export of the mukula tree species,” she said.
Ms Kapata said the export of all other types of timber species also remains banned until further notice.
She said finished products like chairs, tables and doors which may be in their component parts can be exported.
Ms Kapata said the ministry has allowed concession licences to continue operating and supplying timber to the local industry to empower local people and ensure sustainable operations of the timber industry.
She said in this regard, production and conveyance permits have continued to be issued in accordance with statutory instrument number 50 of 2016 (Forest Concession Licence Regulations).